Hook Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

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Hook. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a historical fiction novel that follows Hester Prynne, an adulterer, through her life with her daughter, the father of her daughter, and her husband that she cheated on. Taking place in the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, Hester is released from prison and lives and provides for her daughter solely alone, which is a complete contradiction to the standard conventions in her community at the time. As part of her punishment Hester is forced to wear an “A”, for adultery, on her chest at all times, but throughout the book she transforms the symbol of what was meant to publicly shame her. It is obvious that “The scarlet letter had not done its office” (Hawthorne 151), because instead of being …show more content…
At the beginning of the book, Hester grieves the loss of her old self before she committed her crime. She is still hugely impacted by the presence of the letter towards the end of the book, but she was able to use it to positively shape her. As Hester is on the scaffold right after exiting the prison, she starts to hold her daughter Pearl is a position to cover the “A”, but soon realizes that Pearl is as much a symbol of her sin as the letter is, “wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another” (48). Hester is primarily admitting that she did commit a sin and crime, and she settles with the fact that she has no possible way to cover it up instead of disputing it and trying to find other solutions to hide her shame. Hester’s public shame is something that most women at the time did not have to endure, even though many were just not punished for the same sin. She has a perspective that no one else has due to this experience, and she is thriving from her differences. Context no quote bomb. “These had been her teachers, ---stern and wild ones, -- and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.” (184). The results of the letter are not all positive, and she has struggled a lot because of the public shame but in some ways she has learned more than she has lost and she has used this attention that she gained to benefit

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